This is the next installment in this series of blog posts reflecting on the really insightful talk from Brogan Cox that took place last month at the Furniture Maker’s Hall.

Identifying your role models is the first step to developing the first link in the chain to a successful business. The chain goes as follows:

You – Product – Brand – Self Promotion – Stable Income

Whatever your product might be, it is important to always remain reflective of it, asking questions like: “If I didn’t design it would someone else?” In other words, ‘is your product predictable and too trend focused?’

Your work should be a physical embodiment of your ethos, narrative, methods, and aesthetic style.

Once you have mastered your product, it is time to be introduced to the Brand Triangle!

Brand TriangleEssence

Top three qualities or phrases that describe the core message of your brand.

Example: THIS GIRL MAKES is inclusive, educational, and fun.

 

Personality

A list of 11-13 other words that describe you or your practice.

Example:

THIS GIRL MAKES is…

  1. Relevant
  2. Responsive
  3. Communal
  4. Accessible
  5. Positive
  6. Informed
  7. Practical
  8. Sensitive
  9. Considered
  10. Transparent
  11. Intersectional
  12. Inspirational

 

Unique Selling Point

This is how you monetize the top two sections of the Brand Triangle.

Example: THIS GIRL MAKES is “led by women, but for all”.

 

Tips for creating your Brand Triangle are:

  • Avoid words like sustainable, innovation, and craft. (You don’t need to say these because if you ‘walk the walk’, there should be no need to ‘talk the talk’).
  • Go deeper than “passionate”.
  • Remain objective.
  • Think: are they a reflection of you?

 

Once you have completed the exercise above, you are now able to work on your brand’s visual and verbal identity. This may be a fairly intuitive or logical process for some people, but might not be for others.

visual identity

This consists of:

  • A logo (that is suitable for 75 x 75 pixel scale)
  • A colour palette
  • A type face

 

Verbal identity

This relates to the tone of voice that you adopt throughout your online presence and digital marketing, such as Instagram posts etc. It should be:

  • Informative
  • Enthusiastic
  • Concise
  • Written as though speaking to someone who doesn’t know a lot about what you do / is not an expert.
  • Use ‘I’ if you work alone (be proud of the fact you do all the work!)
  • Share useful information and be future-centric, for example providing news of upcoming project and invitations to events.

 

Some further tips for establishing a successful brand are:

  • Use a tripod for your camera/iPhone, as this allows you to be in front of the lens, doing what you do best!
  • Invest in a good quality camera, as this will help elevate the quality of you work.
  • Pick a simple logo mark (remember that it needs to work on multiple scales).

 

The success of your self-promotion will depend on your ability to identify who you are speaking to through your marketing, and why.

Are you speaking to a:

  • Retailer? – Try design shows (both local and international).
  • Manufacturer? – Try trade shows (global).
  • Customer? – Try online.
  • Gallery? – Try face-to-face.

…as this will inevitably mean adopting a suitable form of your verbal identity.

 

Stay tuned for the next installment of this blog series; it will be available soon!